Review: Circus Front: Collectif AOC in Question de Directions at Roundhouse

Performance: 21 June 07
Reviewed by Alana Hobbs - Friday 22 June 2007

Collectif AOC, 'Question de Directions' Roundhouse, Photo: Olivier Chambrial

So why should you go and see this circus show if you’re mostly in to dance?

If you like physical dance theatre, you really should give this wild French circus group a try. They extend the sort of dance language you see in say, Jasmin Vardimon’s work to the extreme – literally to the roof of the Roundhouse, in this case, with the use of trapeze and trampoline. The trapeze act in particular is thrilling – and incredibly accomplished. In dance, its so often about making movement look effortless and achievable. Circus on the otherhand – when its on a trapeze high above the stage – is about danger – and heart in your mouth, stomach churning excitement. The group also give new contemporary spins on the old circus standards, clowning, slapstick and gasp inducing illusion. A more recent phenomenon – pole dancing – gets a good makeover here as well. The audience on the first night loved it – and felt free to express their enthusiasm, disbelieve and awe throughout – which is all part of the circus experience.

The Roundhouse is of course a perfect place for circus – a permanent Big Top tent, without the sawdust and damp grass.

Collectiv AOC are on until Monday 25 June. The Circus Front season at the Roundhouse runs until early August

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